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Monday, August 24, 2015

A TRUTHFUL Muse Monday with Joyce Proell

Please welcome my special guest, Joyce Proell.

It’s a special treat for me to be on Brenda’s blog today. We’ve been critique partners for at least nine years—maybe even longer. Over countless discussions about beloved WIPs (works in progress), a deep trust has emerged. I feel so blessed to have landed in a group with Brenda. She’s given me expert advice on many projects including all three of the ‘Truth’ books in my Cady Delafield series.

I value your input in shaping these stories. Thanks, friend.

Today, I want to talk about how the Cady Delafield series came about. As a reader, I’ve always been split down the middle when it came to my preference for romance versus mystery novels. Why couldn’t a book be both? Since I could never choose which genre I preferred more, I decided to combine each element in the ‘Truth’ books. A Deadly Truth, A Burning Truth and A Wicked Truth are as much suspense/mystery as they are romance.
The series was conceived as a trilogy. Murder is the catalyst that throws Cady and Doyle together. Over the course of the three stories, they fall deeply in love, but their path to the altar is fraught with danger, doubts, interfering families and the ever present criminal.

Like all great mysteries, the stories are written with enough twists to keep the reader guessing about the criminal’s identify until the end. Cady’s feisty personality and Doyle’s confident, take charge attitude insure that things are kept lively. Their romance is sweet, sensual, sometimes turbulent and always fun.
Following is a little info on all three books.
A Deadly Truth
A man obsessed, a woman willing to risk it all…

Tainted in the eyes of Victorian society by his wife’s suicide, successful entrepreneur Doyle Flanagan turns a deaf ear to the baseless gossip and harsh rebukes. Ignoring his shattered reputation, he goes about his business making money, doing some good for others and making a few enemies along the way. Arrested for murder, he is forced to rely on a feisty school administrator to solve the puzzle. As he struggles to prove his innocence, he realizes gaining the trust and loyalty of Cady Delafield may be more important than his freedom.

On a quest to locate a missing student, school matron Cady Delafield enters a stranger’s house and discovers the woman murdered. Driven to see the murderer brought to justice, she is determined to prevent any further tragedy even if it means joining forces with the very man accused of the atrocity. Against the wishes of her powerful family, she risks her job and reputation to learn the truth. But will the truth, once revealed, drive her away from the man she has come to love?

Passion and murder collide in 1880’s Chicago as they race to keep one step ahead of the police who want Doyle to pay for his crime. As the attraction between Cady and Doyle sizzles, they battle suspicions, lies and lethal actions to uncover the murderer before he destroys them both.

A Burning Truth
In 1881, the air in Chicago is rife with worker discontent, yet business titan Doyle Flanagan is hopeful for the future. He looks forward to a lifetime of peaceful bliss with Cady Delafield and leaving the wretched past behind. But his life is once again thrown into disarray when his office is vandalized and the night watchman viciously murdered. Clues lead to a powerful organized labor movement. Targeted in the press as anti-labor and with a big rally staged next door to his offices, Doyle must uncover the culprits before his wedding plans and his livelihood go up in smoke. 
Plagued by memories of four brutal deaths, school director Cady Delafield is determined to drive the recent tragedies from her mind and enjoy being courted.  Although his commanding personality threatens to overshadow her, Doyle Flanagan is the most dynamic man she’s ever met. When another tragedy unfolds placing him at the center, she takes action—action that could shatter her future dreams.

A Wicked Truth
The wedding date is set, and life is magical for Doyle Flanagan and Cady Delafield. Yet trouble has a way of finding these two. Honor bound to repay an old debt, Doyle agrees to help a friend find her sister. As he searches for the girl, painful memories surface, stunning Cady when she discovers facts about Doyle’s hidden past.

In spite of incredible odds, Cady and Doyle’s love has flourished. Now mired in tragedy and secrets, their happiness is in jeopardy. Their wits are put to the test when catastrophe strikes close to home threatening those Cady loves the most. Can they overcome the turmoil with a fateful decision that will change their future forever? 
Here’s an excerpt for A Wicked Truth

“Someone’s been in my room and taken things.”
His brow tightened. “How do you know?”
“I haven’t been able to find the lovely scarf you gave me. I assumed I’d lost it or left it behind when I met Grace for tea last week. Then today, I noticed one of your notes missing.”
“When you send a gift, you always include a card or note.”
“You kept my notes?”  Doyle beamed.
“I’m a romantic, all right?” Hot with embarrassment, Cady lifted her chin and stared him dead on. “They’re precious. I’ll cherish them forever.”
His face softened. He skimmed a finger along her jaw and let it linger over her lips. At his touch, her body quickened.
“What did the note say?” When he removed his hand, the spell broke.
“Oh, it was the one about our first kiss, where I trembled beneath your fingers.”
“Ah, I recall.” His voice dropped a level.
The same finger he’d placed over her lips now traced the opening of her dress causing an immediate shiver of excitement. It slipped past the fastened buttons and stopped just over her heart. “Is anything else missing?” As easy as a breeze, he undid the button between her breasts.
“I don’t think so.” Even to her own ears, she sounded shaky.
“Are you afraid?” His finger darted inside and wiggled below the silky fabric of her corset and chemise.
“No,” she breathed.
He dipped his head, his mouth mere inches from hers and worked a few more buttons.
“Are you worried one of your roommates may harm you?” When his hand disappeared inside her dress and caressed her nipple, she gasped.
“Angry,” she mumbled, aware more of the physical sensations than logic and words.
“What?” It was as if he called to her in a fog.
“You’re trembling beneath my fingers, like the first time.” His words were a feather brush erasing all reason.
“Are you surprised?” she managed to ask.
 “The way you tremble, the change in your breathing…” With a sweep of an arm, he slipped her on his lap.
Relieved and thrilled that the moment she’d waited for all night had arrived, she threw her arms about his shoulders. Her mouth fell hard on his, and she lost herself to a kiss that seemed wonderfully endless.             

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Happy reading, Joyce



  1. Hello Joyce. I am excited to read the series. I was first introduced to Darcy when I was in a member of Joyce and Brenda's critic group. Two wonderful writers

    1. Hey, Chris,
      Nice to hear from you. Hope you're still writing.